Dec. 30, 2007
Bowl Guide in PDF Format
TEXAS TECH AND THE ACC IN BOWL SEASON
Texas Tech has faced Atlantic Coast Conference members five times during the bowl season and has won the last two times - 55-15 over Clemson in the 2002 Tangerine Bowl and 49-21 over Duke in the All-American Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., in 1989. The Red Raiders met Georgia Tech in back-to-back bowl games for Tech in 1965 (Gator) and 1970 (Sun). Texas Tech dropped both games and another against North Carolina, 32-28, in the 1972 Sun Bowl.
TEXAS TECH AND VIRGINIA
While the two teams have never met on the field, they do have a few things in common. UVa Head Coach Al Groh was the linebacker coach at Texas Tech in 1980 under Rex Dockery. Cavalier walk-on receiver Staton Jobe of Austin (Texas) Westlake High School is the son of Jeff Jobe, a Red Raider receiver from 1972-74, and brother of former Red Raider receiver Taylor, who lettered at Tech in 2003. Virginia offensive lineman Ian Yates-Cunningham prepped at Lewisville (Texas) Hebron High School with current Red Raider safety Steven Harris.
TEXAS TECH IN JANUARY BOWL GAMES
Texas Tech is 2-7 all-time in January bowl games with its last win, ironically, coming at the 1954 Gator Bowl - a 35-13 win over Auburn. The most recent games played in January include the 1996 and 2006 Cotton bowls. In its first four bowl games, beginning at the conclusion of the 1937 season, Tech appeared in four-straight January bowl games - three Sun and one Cotton.
GATOR BOWL FAMILIAR DESTINATION IN TECH ANNALS
Texas Tech has played three previous times in the Gator Bowl, the last coming Dec. 29, 1973, when the Red Raiders defeated Tennessee 28-19. Tech's first appearance was a 35-13 win over Auburn on Jan. 1, 1954, with the second coming in a 31-21 loss to Georgia Tech on Dec. 31, 1965. Additionally, Tech players hold three most valuable player honors in the game, including Donny Anderson's reception of the award in a losing cause in 1965 (13 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown and nine receptions for 138 yards). Bobby Cavazos received the honor after the 1954 game, while Joe Barnes picked up the honor in 1973. Additionally, the Gator Bowl is second on the bowl list of most-visited postseason destinations for Texas Tech. The program has played in nine Sun/John Hancock bowls and this year marks the fourth Gator appearance. Three Cotton Bowl showings follow.
A QUICK LOOK AT VIRGINIA
- The Cavaliers enter the bowl season with a 9-3 overall record and 6-2 mark in Atlantic Coast Conference play. Virginia finished second in the ACC Coastal Division behind rival Virginia Tech, after dropping a 33-21 decision at home against the Hokies to end the regular season. A win would have placed the Cavs in the ACC Championship game.
- Virginia leads all FBS schools with five wins by two or fewer points, including three one-point games, and back-to-back one-point wins at home against Connecticut and on the road at Maryland.
- Virginia is one of eight programs nationally to improve by at least four wins over the 2006 season.
- DE Chris Long, son of NFL Hall of Famer Howie Long, is one of the nation¡¦s top defensive linemen, ranking among the top five nationally in sacks and tackles by defensive linemen.
- The Cavaliers rank 100th nationally in total offense, but boast one of the nation¡¦s top 20 defensive units that is limiting opponents to 323.4 yards per game. Opponents are managing a light 113.0 yards per game on the ground and 210.4 yards through the air. Virginia is averaging 24.1 points per game, including game highs of 44 and 48 in wins over Pittsburgh and Miami (Fla.), respectively.
- After opening the season with a 23-3 loss at Wyoming, the Cavaliers reeled off seven-straight wins and were ranked as high at 18th before suffering a 29-24 setback at N.C. State. Wins over Wake Forest and Miami (Fla.) preceded the loss to Virginia Tech.
QB Graham Harrell and WR Michael Crabtree rank in a fourth-place tie among all-time Big 12 Conference pass/receive tandems. The duo has 21 touchdowns this year, which is the best single season in league history for a duo. Oklahoma State's Josh Fields and Rashaun Woods connected for 31 touchdowns during the 2001-03 seasons to top the list.
Top Big 12 pass/receive tandems
31 - Josh Fields to Rashaun Woods, Oklahoma State (2001-03)
28 - Bret Meyer to Todd Blythe, Iowa State (2004-07)
23 - Jason White to Mark Clayton, Oklahoma (2001-04)
21 - Jonathan Beasley to Quincy Morgan, Kansas State (1999-00)
21 - Graham Harrell to Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech (2007)
CRAB CLOSING IN ON NCAA YARDAGE MARK
Michael Crabtree has set numerous records this season and is on pace to break another as he is 199 receiving yards away from tying the NCAA record of 2,060, set by Nevada's Trevor Insley in 1999. Crabtree has 1,861 yards this season and is averaging a national-best 155.1 yards per game. All numbers are Big 12 Conference single-season records.
Other Records Approaching
- Trails the NCAA season TD receptions mark by six
- Needs a 100-yard game at the bowl to tie the NCAA single-season mark
- Needs 15 points to become the NCAA freshman scorer leader
- Needs three touchdowns to break the NCAA freshman TD mark
TECH PASS BLOCK KEEPING QB UPRIGHT
After throwing 694 passes as an offensive unit this season, one would think in addition to the QB's arm, his rear end might be sore as well. Let's face it; the odds of getting sacked in a passing offense are greatly improved with each attempt. Not in Texas Tech's case. The Red Raider offensive line has yielded only 15 sacks in 694 pass attempts this season or one sack per every 46.3 pass attempts. That total ranks second nationally behind Tennessee (one per 122.8 attempts). What makes Texas Tech's numbers more impressive is the fact the offense has thrown 203 more passes than the Volunteers. The o-line is currently in its best two-year run under Mike Leach, having yielded just 34 sacks since the start of the 2006 season. The previous best two-year total was 53 (2003-04). If Tech keeps its current pace up, the team will have limited the defensive sack output below 20 for the second time under Leach and the second time in as many years (19 allowed last season).
TEXAS TECH FIELDS SECOND YOUNGEST TEAM
This is not meant as an excuse for the team's four losses this year, but more as a credit to the eight wins. In a survey conducted by the Temple University SID office, Texas Tech ranks second nationally with 63.3 percent (or 76 players) of its 120-man roster consisting of freshmen and sophomores. Of the Red Raiders' 66 touchdowns this season, 35 have come from the freshman and sophomore classes, and that doesn't include QB Taylor Pott's three TD passes. Texas Tech's freshman and sophomore players have accounted for over 53 percent of the total offense this season. The numbers show the influx of talent Texas Tech has this year and may be most noticeable on the defensive side of the ball. The young players have accounted for a little over 50 percent of the tackles and over 70 percent of the sacks.
Contributions from the Youngsters
Offense 3,575 55.5%
Points 214 42.7%
Rushes 99 43.8%
Rushing Yards 373 50.6%
Receptions 251 50.2%
Receiving Yards 3,202 56.1%
Tackles 492 54.5%
Sacks 17 73.9%
Tackles for Loss 50.5 68.2%
Interceptions 5 50.0%
Texas Tech's starting lineup currently consists of six freshman and sophomores on offense and six on defense.
TURNOVERS COMPARED TO WINS AND LOSSES
Throughout the course of the season, Texas Tech turned the ball over 25 times, suffering 10 fumbles and 15 interceptions. In the Red Raiders' eight wins, the team averaged 1.75 turnovers per game, including three giveaways each against UTEP, Iowa State and Oklahoma. The resolve of the young offensive unit was tested at times, but it proved it could overcome the odds and win in big games, despite giving the ball away. On the flipside, Tech averaged a full turnover per game (2.75) more in the four losses, the bulk coming on eight interceptions in back-to-back games against Missouri and Colorado.
TECH AMONG WINNINGEST PROGRAMS OF DECADE
Texas Tech ranks 22nd nationally since the start of the 2000 season with a 63.3 winning percentage. That includes the program¡¦s 64-37 record during that span, all coming during Mike Leach's eight-year tenure. The percentage ranks fourth in the Big 12 Conference behind Oklahoma (2nd overall), Texas (3rd) and Nebraska (21st). Boise State has the winningest program of the decade to this point with an 86.0 winning percentage.
QUICK STRIKE OFFENSE
The Red Raiders year-in and year-out have a penchant for getting their offensive work done in a hurry. Take this season for example: Texas Tech has 12 scoring drives of a minute or less, including 10 that went for touchdowns. The total ranks second nationally and is tied with four other schools. East Carolina leads with 19 sub-minute scoring drives. Add a minute to the time and Texas Tech is in a three-way tie as the national leader with 36 scoring drives at two minutes or less - 31 of those are touchdowns. In their comeback effort and 23-point fourth quarter at Texas, the Red Raiders scored three touchdowns ¡V one on a 25 second drive and another that took 22 seconds. The third ran 1:36 off of the clock.
TECH PROFITS IN THE RED
Texas Tech scored 52 times in the red zone through the course of the season, including a league-leading 90.4 percent of those scores coming as touchdowns. The Red Raiders have scored 47 touchdowns in the red zone this season and five field goals. Basically, when Tech scores in the red zone, nine times out of 10, the team will put it in the end zone. Overall, Tech has an 82.5 percent success rate.
Percentage of Red Zone Scores as Touchdowns
Texas Tech 47-of-52 90.4%
Oklahoma 45-of-54 83.3%
Nebraska 37-of-45 82.2%
Baylor 18-of-22 81.8%
Texas 31-of-39 79.5%
Colorado 30-of-38 78.9%
Oklahoma State 31-of-41 75.6%
Kansas 46-of-61 75.4%
Missouri 43-of-58 74.1%
Iowa State 21-of-29 72.4%
Texas A&M 33-of-46 71.7%
Kansas State 31-of-49 63.3%